Drug Law
Drug Law

With New Fed. Policy, Mass. Patients Want Medical Marijuana Bill

| by Marijuana Policy Project
BOSTON — The Obama administration’s directive to federal prosecutors not to prosecute medical marijuana activities that are in accord with state laws gives new impetus to the drive to pass a medical marijuana bill in Massachusetts, patients who have benefited from marijuana said today.

Pending legislation, HB 2160 would make Massachusetts the 14th state with such a law. The bill is largely modeled on the successful medical marijuana law in Rhode Island, which has been in force since 2006.

“I’m excited about this news from the Obama administration, which shows that the government is now willing to acknowledge that marijuana has legitimate medical uses,” said Marcy Duda of Ware, who suffers from chronic pain and debilitating nerve damage due to brain surgery. “I hope this sends a signal to our legislators that there is no reason not to move ahead with legislation to help seriously ill patients. I’ve tried prescription painkillers that are very addictive and just knock me out. Medical marijuana helps me get by.”

A Suffolk University poll released in September found that 81 percent of Massachusetts voters support medical marijuana legislation. Full poll results are available at http://www.suffolk.edu/research/38128.html

“Hopefully this will help reduce the needless stigma associated with medical marijuana use,” said Don from the South Shore, who suffers from a rare condition called cyclic vomiting syndrome and who asked that his full name not be used for fear of legal consequences. “It’s not about an excuse to use an illegal drug, it’s about people with cancer, pain, or other illnesses who don’t respond to other available medications. I suffered for years before I had any idea about medical marijuana. I’ve considered moving to Rhode Island so I could have safe access to my medicine and never have to miss work while bedridden with nausea and vomiting.”